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T&T OLYMPIC TEAM TTO PARTNERS Mohammed tipped to take over

All rounder Jason Mohammed’s name is being tipped as the man to take over as captain of the T&T team for the coming Nagico Super50 Cricket Tournament which begins on January 7. He is expected to take over from his senior, fastbowler Ryad Emrit who has lost the captaincy because of his decision to participate at the Bangladesh T20 last month.

Emrit’s choice not to represent his country at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Regional Four Day Tournament also cost him his retainer contract, while all rounder Kevon Cooper and batsman Evin Lewis also lost their contracts with the T&T Cricket Board as they too chose to play in the Bangladesh T20 tournament.

Yesterday Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the cricket board Suruj Ragoonath confirmed that the team to represent T&T at the Nagico Super50 has been submitted to the West Indies Cricket Board but did not say who will lead the team. He explained that the team was selected based on the availability of players and the media will know who the players are when it is released.

Concerning the termination of Emrit as captain, Ragoonath said the national selectors made a recommendation for him to be removed as captain and the board accepted it.

He told the Guardian that he has said it on many occasions that while the cricket board has no problem with players wanting to make money at different cricket tournaments but at the end of the day they must all realise that they have a legally binding commitment with the board. “I do not want to make it as though it is a threat but players will face the consequences if they walk away from a commitment with the board and with the country” Ragoonath said.

When quizzed if players selected for the regional Nagico Super50 will suffer a similar fate if they walk out, Ragoonath who himself was a former national and West Indies opening batsman, said: “Yes”.

However, Emrit said in a recent report that he and other players were given the greenlight to travel abroad and play, but was surprised now the captaincy has been taken away from him. The irony though is that Emrit has been one of the country’s successful captains, leading the team to victory in the Nagico Super50 tournament earlier this year at home with an umblemished 5-0 record and later ushering them to a good start in the four-day tourney.

Ragoonath made it clear however, that the player was not dropped from the team but rather as the leader. “To be the captain of a team is an honour and not a right and players must live up to their responsibility” Ragoonath explained.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Gillen, the Queen’s Park manager has named Mohammed as the likely successor to Emrit, but said he would have preferred to have West Indies wicket keeper Denesh Ramdin as his leader. Concerning Emrit’s removal as captain, Guillen said he does not know if the players signed the retainer contracts with the understanding that they can go out and play at T20 tournaments when they come up.

Additionally, former national spinner Dinanath Ramnarine said the instability and the poor performances of the team stem from the poor governance structure at the board level.